Columbia College’s Fire Academy will hold its graduation ceremony and presentation of Certification of Completion to 35 successful students of the Fire Technology Program. The event, which is open to the public, will be held Friday, Dec. 16, beginning at 6 p.m. in the Oak Pavilion at Columbia College.
The certificates will be awarded based on the student’s successful completion of the academic and manipulative training as mandated for a California Firefighter 1 Certification. The students must still complete six months of full-time or one year of part-time field experience before applying to the state for Firefighter I Certification.
“Some of the graduates will apply or continue with reserve, intern and volunteer positions at local or state-wide fire departments since entering the academy,” said Chief Shane Warner, Columbia College Fire Technology Program Coordinator and professor. “Many of the students will pursue associate degrees in fire technology at Columbia College.”
“Some of the students are already applying for seasonal employment with CAL Fire, Forest Service, and local fire agencies,” said Instructor Andy Van Hoogmoed.
In addition to the “routine” fire training classes, specialized training was delivered involving Auto Extrication, Low Angle Rope Rescue Training, Incident Command System, Hazardous Materials Training, Seasonal Wildland Firefighting classes, Confined Space, Basic Power Saw Safety, and live fire suppression training, which was conducted at the Twain Harte’s Fire Department Training Center. A special thanks goes out to: Vics Towing, Columbia College Fire Department, Columbia Fire District, Sonora City Fire Department, Twain Harte Fire Department, Tuolumne County Fire Department, CAL Fire TCU, U.S. Forest Service, and Sierra Conservation Center.
Angela Fairchilds Ph.D., President of Columbia College, will deliver a welcome message. Mike Marcucci CAL Fire Battalion Chief will convey the Keynote Address. Erick Vanderveer Captain with Hayward Fire Department will present closing thoughts.
Family and friends will view a student produced audiovisual presentation of their intensive 16 weeks of training. The rigorous training is designed to help serious candidates meet the requirements for demanding careers as professional firefighters, including more than 576 hours of academic and manipulative training, according to Chief Warner.